Homeless man who held woman hostage jailed
A homeless man who attacked a terrified woman and held her hostage in a wood has been jailed for 18 months.
Shaun Bedward lured Marion Kuit down a dark country lane after telling her he wanted to give her money, old medals and poems before he left the area, having lived in a tent in woods there for an unknown amount of time.
But when Ms Kuit became scared the 6ft man began shouting and grabbed his 4ft 10in victim by the wrists, pushed her to the ground and held her down with his body for about five minutes.
Kingston Crown Court heard the Epsom woman, who wept in court, managed to escape her attacker when he turned his back but feared for her life as she ran to safety.
Bedward, who suffers from a personality disorder, was later found by police under a bridge on the A3 with his head in his hands.
Liz Lockwood, prosecuting, said: “The victim said she thought she was going to be raped, seriously injured or even killed. She believed she was running for her life as she sprinted across the fields.”
Ms Kuit was visiting horses she owns in fields near Barwell Farm, Chessington, at about 6pm on Monday, November 7, last year, when her ordeal began.
The two had passed each other on bridleways over a number of years, and Bedward would greet Ms Kuit regularly by saying “Hello princess”.
The court heard Ms Kuit had described Bedward as one of the most polite people she had ever met, but the incident left her unable to sleep and she could not go alone to feed her horses at night.
Bedward’s defence counsel Katrina Jamieson said he felt an immense amount of remorse.
She said: “It is clear not only does he regret the incident it has also caused him significant distress to learn that the victim believed he would cause her harm.”
Bedward admitted a charge of false imprisonment and was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Judge Richard Southwell on Friday, March 23.